Italy join Denmark in the semi-finals
Italy made sure of their place in the semi-finals with a commanding performance against Guernsey at Horsham on Thursday morning, although there were periods in the game when their opponents seemed likely to push them all the way.
Guernsey had a dream start when skipper James Nussbaumer, having lost the toss, took a return catch from his second delivery, having opened with a wide, to remove Italian danger man Dinidu Marage, fresh from his century on Tuesday.
But their joy was short-lived as Peter Petricola smashed a 30-ball 69, dominating a 93-run partnership with Andy Northcote (27), although when Matthew Stokes dismissed Petricola - who had hit eight fours and four sixes in his devastating innings - and soon afterwards Max Ellis claimed the first of four wickets by having Northcote stumped by Thomas Kimber, Jersey entered upon their most sustained period of success.
Four further wickets fell for the addition of just 15 runs, Ellis finishing with four for 15, but a useful 27 from 25 deliveries by Michele Raso enabled Italy to rally, and the innings closed on 162 off the final delivery of their allotted 20 overs.
Jeremy Frith (35) and Isaac Damarell (24) gave their side a promising start after the early loss of Lucas Barker, but once they departed by the time 74 runs were on the board, the Jersey pursuit began to falter, and with Gayashan Munasinghe, Damian Crowley and Dilan Arsakulasuriya picking up two wickets apiece they closed on 133 for eight, 30 runs short of their target.
Meanwhile on the neighbouring ground, Austria also fell short of Sweden's total of 181 for nine by just eight runs. The foundation of the Swedish innings was an opening stand of 82 between Ashik Imtiaz (50 from 31 deliveries) and Sadat Sidiqi (37), and after a dramatic collapse in which Satyam Subhash took three for 31 reduced them to 121 for six, Sarmad Imtiaz hit 38 in the closing stages to set a reasonably imposing target.
Serge Conein quickly struck three times when Austria replied, but opener Imran Asif saw them from 18 for three to 153 for five before he was run out for a belligerent 72, made from 54 deliveries with nine fours and a six.
Babar Nadeem contributed 22, Subhash 33 and Imran Goraya 18, but two more run-outs in the final overs made the Austrian task impossible, and they finished on 173 for eight.